Updated: Monday, 07 Feb 2011, 9:04 PM EST
Published : Monday, 07 Feb 2011, 6:03 PM EST
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Lafayette-area educators plan to join a crowd of their colleagues from across the state for a rally at the Statehouse Tuesday.
Teachers Education Association Co-President Ed Tilley said Monday, Tippecanoe School Corporation (TSC) teachers questioned the funding for a potential voucher system that would allow parents to send their kids to private schools for less money. He said they are wary of possible new regulation of collective bargaining, as well as a proposal for performance-based pay.
"You're putting all of the testing on a 14-year-old or 15-year-old's shoulders to evaluate a teacher," Tilley said. "And some people will do the wrong thing. They'll start teaching for the test."
The Indiana Department of Education released information Monday, clarifying a new model for teacher evaluation. A press secretary said data like test scores will not be the only information used to evaluate teachers, and local districts wouldn't be mandated to use the models if a Senate bill passes.
But Tilley said allotted funding in the budget doesn't make teachers feel like they're a priority to state legislators either.
"I think teachers feel under-appreciated," he said. "Okay, you've cut the budget. Now you're coming after teachers, 'Okay, you're not doing a good job.'"
So Tilley is hoping many of his fellow teachers will join him Tuesday as he rallies in Indianapolis against the way education is treated at the Statehouse. He said this is not a union issue, or a teacher issue, but one that affects our entire community.
"This is about Indiana's future. And I firmly believe, if we don't help our kids now, we're going to pay for it in the long run," Tilley said.
He said many teachers agree there are several problems that need to be fixed at the state level before it's too late.
"This has great impact," he said. "And if we go down the road we're going, it'll take a long time to get back up on the road again."
Tilley said he doesn't have an exact count of how many TSC teachers plan to join the rally tomorrow, but he knows some do plan to attend.
NewsChannel 18 spoke with Republican State Rep. Randy Truitt, who said he doesn't have a response to Tuesday's rally, but said he wants what's best for our kids. Truitt said education is a very emotional issue right now, with a lot of information on both sides.